By Rick Webb

The Dominion Pipeline Monitoring Coalition has submitted a report to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Atllantic Coast Pipeline (ACP) and the proposal to drill through the Blue Ridge Mountains under the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the George Washington National Forest.

The National Environmental Policy Act requires an opportunity for informed public and agency review and comment.The DEIS for the ACP, repeatedly fails to address or provide the critical information required for meaningful review. The DEIS treatment of Dominion’s proposed Blue Ridge drilling operation is a significant example of this deficiency.

The information provided in the DEIS is insufficient to support evaluation of the proposed Blue Ridge drilling operation. The scope and degree of excavation are not fully disclosed or considered, and the results of critical geophysical investigations have not been provided. Identification of geohazards and evaluation of mitigation measures have been deferred until later, precluding a meaningful opportunity for informed review of the project. The published DEIS fails to meet the information needs of the public or the multiple governmental agencies that have permitting and oversight responsibilities related to the ACP project.

FERC must release a revised DEIS to:

  • prove that boring through the Blue Ridge is a practicable option, by providing reliable and complete geophysical data
  • disclose the extent of land disturbance and water quality damage the proposal would create
  • include detailed, site-specific plans and pollution control measures for all alternatives for crossing the Blue Ridge